Lava flows from the Mount Etna volcano on the southern Italian island of Sicily, near Catania, late on December 6, 2015. New research shows that as the Mediterranean Sea dried up 5-6 million years ago, an increase in volcanic activity occurred in the region. | Giovanni Isolino/AFP/Getty Images

Climate Change 5 Million Years Ago Coincided With More Mediterranean Volcanoes

As the Mediterranean Sea dried up during the Messinian Age and removed downward pressure on the Earth's surface, volcanic activity increased in the region.

The white line represents the present-day Mediterranean coastline, blue regions show the submarine area in case of a 2km Mediterranean sea level lowering as it was proposed during the Messinian salinity crisis, and red circles show the location of volcanic provinces whose activity was enhanced during the Messinian (the size of the circle is proportional the activity augmentation). | UNIGE